Helping biological children accept adopted siblings

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Helping biological children accept adopted siblings

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I think when families adopt who already have children in the family it creates another level of complexity for everyone involved. And I think it´s important not to minimize that with your birth children or biological children. You are both growing your family and adding someone new who you hope your child will welcome in but also they are going to have some ambivalence about that. They are going to have some worries about what it might mean in terms of their place in the family so they are going to need a combination of reassurance and understanding in relation to the negative feelings, not to pretend like those don´t exist, and also helping them understand how exciting it is to bring in a new child and helping them find ways to empathize with the child´s experience, especially if that child may have some difficult behaviors upon coming into a new family.

Watch John Grienenberger, PhD's video on Helping biological children accept adopted siblings...

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John Grienenberger, PhD

Family Psychologist

John Grienenberger, PhD, is a psychologist, attachment researcher, and Co-Executive Director of the non-profit Center for Reflective Parenting in Los Angeles. He is also Clinical Director of PCH Treatment Center. He has extensive experience in family work, and has trained hundreds of therapists in his mentalization-based approach to working with families. He has authored numerous papers, presentations, and training programs in the areas of psychotherapy, attachment, mentalization, and parenting, and has conducted trainings and presentations both nationally and internationally. He has a part-time private practice in West Los Angeles conducting psychological and psychoeducational testing as well as providing psychotherapy to children, adults, families, and couples. Along with spending time with his 12 year old daughter and nine year old son, John also enjoys backpacking, snowboarding, hiking, and mountain biking.

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